Okay, I know that was a bad title, but I couldn't resist. At least I didn't call the reservations desk yesterday and ask if they had any smoking rooms.
The fire at the Monte Carlo casino in Las Vegas was mostly on the roof and under control in about an hour. Everyone was evacuated and only a few minor injuries were reported.
That said, it could have been worse, much worse.
The material that burned brightest was dryvit covered styrofoam exterior decorative stuff. Check out the comments connected to this Las Vegas Sun story and you'll get the drift that this building material is popular and dangerous. http://www.lasvegassun.com/blogs/news/2008/jan/25/fire-monte-carlo/
Look at this photo from the Monte Carlo website and you will see the trim along the roof and below what I believe are the High Roller Suites -- compare that with photos of the fire and it shows just how highly combustible this substance is. http://www.montecarlo.com/whatsnew/
Also the evacuation procedures eerily echo the tragedy of 9/11 with guests being told to stay put, until the source of the emergency is located.
In retrospect hundreds of people died in the twin towers because they obeyed orders and didn't get the hell out of dodge.
I'm the kind of traveler who likes to stay on high floors in hotels, because they are quieter, usually more luxurious if you get upgraded, and provide better views. I'm an idiot.
It is obviously safer to stay on lower floors near exits.
I love a hot slot, but when the roof is on fire, it is time to leave.